Thursday, May 13, 2010

At least one more cop is leaving, but staff is great!...

...and don't worry. The departure has nothing to do with all that silly Deegan vs. Cruess stuff. Cuz Deegan retired. So everything is hunky-dory at the PD. And no more officers will be leaving. They - along with many other town employees - revel in the notion of getting up to go experience a hostile work environment on a daily basis. Yippee!

Or maybe I'm being sarcastic.

Sure would be nice though if the Council would publicly address the failed efforts - as well as the non-efforts* - of the Town Manager. And since his annual review will soon begin with the Personnel Committee, I hope the Council will have a serious discussion about this. Tolerating the hostile work environment and the never-ending quest to behave like an elected Mayor is simply unacceptable as far as I'm concerned.

Tim White

* In particular, I'm thinking of the year that passed before there was any acknowledgement of problems at the PD.


Anonymous said...

Tim, while it's great to read that you're trying to hold Milone accountable as a leader I'm disheartened that this council is not making any progress in helping to resolve the CPD issues. My perception is that the TC has lost progress on the problems with the CPD. Like the Town Manager, this TC is ineffective in leading the town through the CPD issues.

If the TC spent as much energy on the CPD as it does with the pool bubble I believe the issues with the CPD would be solved and/or at least a plan would've been in place by now.'s what the TC is not having for breakfast these days.

Anonymous said...


So an officer leaves the CPD without an explanation from you other than an assertion by you that the officer was very unhappy and the victim of upper management style police brutality. This is very useful half information for the public. Thank you for your ongoing support of promoting discord with town management, the town council and virually everything else you are a component part of. Its inspiring leadership we have come to expect from you.

Anonymous said...

Judging by the previous post, maybe some (a) council member(s) should be replaced before Milone. Keep stirring the pot and you will get splashed

tim white said...


"hostile work environment" = "police brutality"

I'm guessing most people have very different understandings of those two phrases. But I'm guessing you intended to morph it subtly so as to have a better chance at swaying public opinion?

This is very useful half information for the public.

Well, it's pretty much the same information that I had two years ago when both Management and the Council were in denial over the problems. And I was comfortable with it then... and now.

Thank you for your ongoing support of promoting discord with town management

I'm the problem? Interesting take. From my perspective, I'm promoting mediation of the conflict.

In fact, I tried to address this problem privately two years ago. But since I got the all-too-typical anger and defiance routine from staff, I brought the problems to the attention of the public... as the Council failed to act... and the Council has a boss... the public. I view escalation of the matter to be entirely appropriate. But somehow I'm promoting discord?

But you are entitled to your opinion.

Anonymous said...

So Tim, what is the town council doing about the CPD situation. There's been no news from the TC since the failed attempt of using consultants. I guess silence and burying yours heads in the sand is Step #2?

Anonymous said...

I thought when the newly elected TC took over the CPD was going to be their #1 priority....
What has been done, what has changed?
If you are going to hold the TM accountable then the TC, who oversees the TM, must be held responsible as well. The TC knew about the problem when they were elected, so what have they done?
And Tim, while I applaud the fact that you have tried to bring attention to the matter, you have to take responsibility for the TC of which you are a a part, and in fact a part of the majority. If you can not get anything done on the TC or in your own caucus then there needs to be some serious consideration on what your role is.

Anonymous said...

"I thought when the newly elected TC took over the CPD was going to be their #1 priority"

You're joking, aren't you?

The TC only has so much power over the PD.
There are a lot more problems in this town that the TC has more control over and need to address.

The situation at the CPD, although serious, can't be fixed by the council alone. What do you think they should or could do? They can't fire the chief, they can't fire any of the officers, all they can do is direct our TM to do his job and take care of it.

I love how you all think the TC can just swoop in there and fix everything. It is a little more complicated then that.

Anonymous said...

I love how you all think the TC can just swoop in there and fix everything. It is a little more complicated then that.

Perhaps I wasn't clear. I don't know that is a easy fix or that they can do anything. But, what I do know is what they said and what they promised voters when they ran for election.
Check campaign material.... watch the debate. They, not me, promised that the CPD would be the #1 priority and that they would take immediate steps to fix it.
I am simply asking what they have done. Did they lie when they ran for election? Or perhaps they realized that they are not able to do anything about this once they actually got into power. But have they said that? Have they explained why they are not doing anything on what THEY said would be there #1 priority?
And, for the record, you say you love the people that think the TC can swoop in... but by their own statements, the members of the TC thought this very same thing not that long ago....

Anonymous said...

the officers of the CPD are quite aware of the fact that they are being used as PAWNS in a political arena. It is a shame that members of the TC want to use the issues at the CPD as a platform for themselved, to further personal agendas.
The TC has done NOTHING. They have no idea what to do. They have all turned thier backs in hopes the issues disappear.

Anonymous said...

I don't recall all these candidates making the CPD their #1 priority during the last election.
Although there was a lot of talk, there were many other issues that were just as or more important to us then just the CPD.
We knew that we would still be protected eventhough they need to clean up their house.That wasn't the biggest issue in last years election.
This past election was simply won by the group that promised fiscal responsibility, not that they would fix the CPD.

I still haven't heard what you feel they should do to fix that problem, enlighten us all.

Anonymous said...




Tim White said...

As I've said repeatedly, the Council cannot do anything directly related to the PD. However, the Chief reports to the TM and the TM supposedly reports to the Council (though I have yet to see the current Council do anything to reign him in... such as explicitly prohibiting him from going to Htfd to advocate regional taxes).

Agree with it or not, the Council has taken action to move on the pool and has gotten through a difficult budget.

But we, including me, need to deal with the PD. As far as I can tell, the only thing the Council can do is to direct the TM to mediate the conflict.

Noting that the TM moved past stage #1 (denial) about a year ago... and then began claiming to make efforts at mediating the conflict... it seems to me that his efforts have been an abject failure.

For the past three years I have given numerous reasons why I opposed his contract extension. The basic themes have been:

1) creation of a hostile work environment; and

2) driving policy through inaction... typical M.O. is to agree or to say it will be taken under consideration (which translates to a "no," but staff won't tell you that... instead the hope is that you get worn out or forget).

Fair points though made by many... and I agree that the conflict at the PD was an issue in the last election. As one of nine, I will continue pushing the Council to take action. But I'm not sure how much more I can do.

And in the meantime, I suggest voters follow the words and actions of Council members and where they stand on the issue... and what actions / votes they have taken. I think public statements have already made it clear that Councilman Schrumm and I have very different views on the TMs performance, particularly in relation to the PD. But elected officials could be pressed on this with public statements made. That could help move the situation along IMO.

I think the TMs annual review... hopefully completed sooner, rather than later, will shed light on which Council members think he's doing a good job and which members think his job performance has been unacceptable.

I think that was kinda the point of this post.

And I'm gonna love to hear Council members say that the TM had the correct priorities by spending time in March to go to Hartford to advocate a regional sales tax for John Destefano... rather than dealing with the PD conflict.

Tim White said...

Here's an idea to press the issue... if several people contact the papers and request an investigative report on Council plans for the TM & CPD... I bet one of them may bite and run with it. It seems to me that the MRJ editorial board provides the most flexibility to their reporters on things like this. So maybe a few of you could request it. Then let a reporter take the time to contact all nine Council members and ask them for very specific views on the situation and their plan to act.

Anonymous said...

Clearly the town needs a police commission but of course all the whiners in the PD and in town govt will now begin anew to explain just why there is no need for a police commission.

They will also continue to explain that the TC isn't doing what they perceive it promised to do before it was elected. And we are also finding out that of course the TC has very little direct power over important affairs of town govt when it comes to police.

Of course it also appears that an outside labor union for the police has more direct power than our TC. The voters elect the TC while just a few police get to elect for their outside police union which has more power than the TC?

Time for a voter elected in-charge police commission.

Anonymous said...

During the TC debate in TC chambers some of these TC members expressed concern (rightfully so) over the CPD situation and promised to make it the top priority once the new TC took hold. And they did that by immediately hiring a fact finder to gather all of the facts about the situation so that they could make a real assessment of the problem and determine how to best move forward.

Search back issues of the Cheshire Herald, Record-Journal and New Haven Register for various quotes from this TC about the CPD situation it's #1 priority. You'll find a bevy of quotes from Tim Slocum, Tom Ruocco, Andy Falvey and others discussing the high priority nature of the CPD issues.

This TC took charge of the situation when they hired the failed consultant. The report was released and the only fact that the TC learned was that hiring the consultant was a bad idea and the report was garbage.

Since then, this TC has done nothing but keep quiet about the situation. This isn't a Dem vs. Rep thing, it doesn't matter. There are nine of you on the TC and it's embarrassing that the nine of you botched a fact-finding mission and that you've buried your heads in the sand since the report was released.

Clearly, if you were able to hire a consultant then you're able to work towards finding a resolution to the CPD problems. We elected you to lead this town. You promised this town responsibility, integrity, transparency, etc. It is your responsibility to be prudent about resolving the CPD issues.

Get it done or get out. I will be contacting the newspapers but not about the TM but rather to have them look into what has been and what hasn't been done with the CPD situation since this new TC took over. Maybe then we'll get some answers.

Anonymous said...

You continue to say the TC has done nothing.
They hire the consultant, expecting them to find a resolution, unfortunately it didn't work out.
As Tim has stated several times, the TC has no control over the PD, just the TM.
Go read our Town Charter and tell me where it says the TC controls the PD.

You obiously are a disgruntled dem who has lost his way, but to blame the TC on this fiasco is unfair.

I continue to ask you this question, what more should they do? You don't seem to be able to provide an answer.

As for saying the CPD would be their #1 priority, again, I don't think that is the reason they were all voted into office. But, they did get the consultant on it immediately, didn't they???

Quit complaining and offer some solution.

And yes, it is the TM responsibility. You can go to the papers and complain about the TC, but they have a little more insight than you and know that it is the TM responsibility to work towards a solutuin, not the volunteer members of the TC.

Educate yourself.

Anonymous said...

The police officer that left, didn't he just move back to Florida, where he was from? Not because of issues within the PD?

Also, has the union as a whole recently re-voted to see if in fact they still have no-confidence?

Stanley Marsh said...

9:27 is right. The TC is not doing enough to help put the CPD issues on a path towards a resolution be it through the TM, Personnel Director, etc. Perception is that this TC doesn't know how to help these folks solve this problem. I would say they are as inept as the Town Manager on this particular issue. As for the Town seems cowardice knows no political party as both this TC and the previous one enjoy hiding behind it when the going gets tough.

The TC should update the public as to the status of the CPD issue(s) and next steps. Don't hide behind the charter or go silent on the matter. I think that keeping the public informed would go a long way in town.

Anonymous said...

Stanley Marsh

I am amazed at your ignorance, as well as the others here who think the TC has full authority to swoop in and fix the problems at the CPD.

Do you understand how this town government operates?
The TM is responsible for reporting to the TC and making sure the information is passed along.

I ask again to you Mr. Marsh and all the others, what should the TC do to alleviate the situation?

Tim is on the right track by forcing the TM to do his job.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous May 14, 2010 7:51 AM said...

"Clearly the town needs a police commission... Time for a voter elected in-charge police commission."

You're totally clueless! Police Commissions are an anachronism. They bring politics to the one town department that should have no political influence. They remove all accountability to the town executive and legislative body. Further, what if your police commissioners were as effective as the current town council? Ponder on that.

Anonymous said...

The problems with the CPD are largely personality driven in combination with an institutionalized union strategy of negotiated work place rules. The lines of authority have been blurred out of a progression from a traditionally oganized command structure to some haphazard policies that have led to problems that came to a head under the current chief who began to lean hard on his officers. You've seen the else can it be defined. Many of the officers don't like their boss.

A police commission would find itself in the same place the TC finds itself...they can understand the problem but fixing it must arise out of command and rank and file acceptance of updated workplace rules and clearer lines of authority. Throwing tons of money at it won't solve evrything either.

The dept. is updating job descriptions now. Team building strategies are the next step. The officers in the department are performing at the high level the public has come to expect. Other issues remain and must be sorted out (and they will get sorted out) but this process involves more than having a new chief in place or another officer or two leaving the force.

The "problem" is not a problem that can't get fixed and steps have been taken and additional measures are essential.

Anonymous said...

2:39... I agree with you. The TC needs to address the public at an upcoming meeting and at least give an update on the situation at the CPD as well as next steps. If the TC feels the CPD is no longer a hot priority, it should say so.

Keeping the public in the dark about it is THE wrong thing to do not to mention a disservice to the CPD itself. If it's keeping quiet because of confidential/privileded information/events then it should state as such.

Something is clearly wrong when the TC itself states it cannot do basically anything about the CPD situation. Between the TM and the TC it's clear that not only is there no accountability in situations like the CPD but that the TC, by charter, is powerless to do anything about it.

As a taxpayer, I'm bewildered that I cannot rely on the elected TC, or paid TM, do help lead us through the CPD situation. I expected this from the democrats but not from common-sense folks like the elected republicans.

The TC found a way to push through a proposal/solution as well as a referendum to potentially spend $6-7M on a pool enclosure but somehow it cannot find a way to help our town management solve the CPD issues. Amazing.

Anonymous said...


How would you resolve the issues?

The council is dealing with personnel matters, which are sensititive and this has been stated and restated a number of times. FOI disclosures have been made on all pieces of the ICMA report and the actions by the PD union that led up to the vote of no confidence.

Everyone has had a chance to read the complaints and the recommendations and it seems there has been widespread chuckling at some of the gripes and plenty of unease with the situation as well.

It appears the post by 5:45 has listed a few things that have been done or that are contemplated...Again I ask what would you suggest the council do?

Fire the chief? Fire some of the officers? Tell them to stop whining? Tell them they're perfect?

Give us your list.

Tim White said...

Fire the chief? Fire some of the officers? Tell them to stop whining? Tell them they're perfect?

Give us your list.

I offer that the TMs efforts have been a total failure (among many other failed - and fewer successful - efforts). I think it's important for a Chief Executive to get the right team in place. I doubt many people would argue that the TM has the right team in place.

So perhaps the Council could start with a new TM? Perhaps a different TM would have the skills necessary for addressing the problems in the PD? I don't see how anyone could do all that much worse... and oh... just a simple question... are there currently any Dept of Labor lawsuits pending in relation to discrimination against military personnel? (Just a question!)

Anonymous said...

OK... here is a suggestion.
Doesn't the TC vote on the budget? Doesn't that budget include the Police Department? Could they take a pay cut to the chief if in fact they feel he has not done his job?
I just can not imagine that the elected TC has no power to do anything. Seems to me that it is awfully convenient for them to be able to put all the blame on the TM, none on themselves, take no action in regards to either the TM or the CPD and the issue remains largely as it was. If they can't do anything why have them there?
Have they met with the CPD and the Chief, how often, what was discussed? Has there been anything put in anyones file so that dismissals would be possible at some point? Have they met with any other towns/professionals to discuss how they have handled similar situations? When was the last meeting on this? What was discussed? Or are we doing nothing, putting the blame on the TM and washing our hands clean?

Tim White said...

Seems to me that it is awfully convenient for them to be able to put all the blame on the TM, none on themselves, take no action in regards to either the TM or the CPD and the issue remains largely as it was. If they can't do anything why have them there?

Seems to me that the voters spoke in November. They fired the TC. So I disagree with your assessment. And if the conflict is not mediated / addressed in the next 18 mos, well...

Has there been anything put in anyones file so that dismissals would be possible at some point?

I've been asking this question for six months. But I'm only one of nine. My thinking is if - say for some reason the TM no longer works in Cheshire... quits for some reason... whatever - then it seems to me that personnel files for all direct reports to the TM should have honest, candid comments / annual reviews / etc. But frankly, considering the cronyism that exists in Town Hall, I find it difficult to believe that such a situation exists. Therefore, if a new TM was appointed in Cheshire s/he'd have to start from scratch with no knowledge of employee performance. And while one TM may have a different take than another TM, I think having those files would be useful.

But some Council members appear to be enamored with the current TM and feel it better to blame everyone, but him... with the all-too-typical Cheshire fingerpointing "it's not my / our responsibility."


But if some Council members want to believe that, it's their choice.

Anonymous said...

Seems to me that the voters spoke in November. They fired the TC.

OK fair enough. But, then what has the new TC done to address the issue? You keep saying your only 1 of 9 and that is a fair comment, but you are a member of the majority on the Council and therefore should be able to give some info on what has been done.

If nothing has been done... and in your opinion nothing can be done because of the TM, then it seems voters were mislead in Nov and removed a TC that was as unable to handle the issue as the current TC is.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

12:09 AM

There have beeen a number of posts that mention some of the things that have been done...oh yeah no one mentioned that Kerry Deegan retired. So now I assume you are advocating for more, "what have they done crap" so you can second guess that too, etc. I'd say that 1:10 AM sums it up pretty well....Who cares?.

I say to all of you genius's that think solving nebulous problems that have been ill defined from the outset and focus on...We don't like our boss, just don't rise to an emergency level response. Don't ignore it but lets face it this is not the big deal a few of you claim it is.

Anonymous said...

We should not forget that at the heart of this ongoing mess is a labor union run by outsiders and union members who usually are united in their quest of more and more $$ for less and less work. Compound this with management that a short while ago were actually dues paying members in good standing of the very same labor union and you have a mess.

Local town councils pretty much have their hands tied dealing with these types of issues thanks to the legislative super majority in Hartford. The organizational structure of the PD seems almost comical in light of heavy handed union maneuvers. A town manager overseeing this mess will not work. The TM's real job is to keep stuff quiet by seeing to it that whatever the union desires is given to them. An elected police commission would have more clout.

Just what real world experience does our TM actually have in successfully dealing with labor union issues? Maybe we need an executive or 2 from Pratt & Whitney to show us how to protect the bottom line better - - -

tim white said...

As far as I'm concerned, the Council has done little toward mediating the conflict at the PD.

The consultant... I mean "fact finder" was useless. Though it seems as though that gave the majority the willingness to at least hear directly from both the union membership and chief. Still was a waste of $5,000 though, as far as I'm concerned.

The Union President leaving was unrelated to the Council. And despite the misrepresentations propagated by the TM, this was never about Deegan vs. Cruess.

The Council could act. And I do believe that if there was a new TM, things at the PD would change rapidly (probably six months or so??, a few mos to find a new TM and a few mos for him/her to understand the situation and act??).

tim white said...

I see two possible courses of action for the voters who don't want to wait for 18 mos to fire the GOP Council over inaction mediating the PD conflict:

1) Ask the press (editors probably) to do an investigative report on the current status of Council action on the PD conflict mediation. IMO this should include an interview with each Council member, pressing him/her on their proposed course of action.

2) Voters could repeatedly come to regular Council meetings (second Tuesday of each month... when public comment is allowed on anything not on the agenda) and ask questions directed at individual Council members, including me... though I think it would be most interesting to direct questions to either the Chair or (through the Chair) to the Vice Chair. Understanding the current thought process of the Council leadership would probably go a long way toward finally mediating the conflict... and FWIW, I'm guessing the Chairman probably has been on the record to some extent. So directing questions to the Vice Chair may be the most enlightening.

I would avoid asking Council members about what they plan to do with the PD situation, as that may get rightly punted... "it's the TMs responsibility." Instead, as what that particular member has done to get the TM to mediate the conflict.

But the Herald already called that out too... the TM is part of the problem and cannot be trusted to mediate the conflict. He publicly inserted himself into the mess by defending the Chief. He shouldn't have done that. And since the TM is a political appointment, I think the appropriate course of action for the TC is to appoint someone new.

And again, Deegan retired. That should not be viewed as any sort of action taken by the Council.

Anonymous said...

The issues with the Chief and rank & file have created potential liabilities in the event something happens that can be pointed to lack of communication. The TC has fidicuary responsibility for the overall operations of the Town and by definition need to involve themselves in the affairs of the CPD

Anonymous said...

1:44 pm are you suggesting the union did what it did to cause a future liability issue? After all, it is more common in polarized union shops for this kind of mean spirited group behavior to surface time and again.

As one of many examples just look at what has played out with the P&W labor union up route 10 over the past 10 to 15 years where the work force is continually taking the company to court. You think our TC might wind up where P&W is at some point if they don't do exactly as the police union demands?

Anonymous said...

this issue has been in the tc lap for months. They have done nothing. As tim repeatedly points out the tc is the boss to give direction to the tm. Tim what have you done, but USE the police issue to YOUR benefit slamming the TM, trying to further your agenda. Members of the TC personnel committee met with all involved parties and have done NOTHING. The TC is a joke, banging their drums, puffing out their chests, and getting nowhere.

Anonymous said...

Not for nothing Tim, but your suggestions on what should be done (the media should look into it and people should adress issues toward the vice chair) seem to be nothing more then a thinly veiled attempt to go after the TM and fire him.
I am not even going to get into wether he should or should not be fired. But what I would say is this.... if you can not get the support of your own majority caucus in removing the TM, maybe they have some valid reasons to feel that he should remain. Regardless, beating a dead horse is not helping anyone, most importantly those you represent. If you can not get support to remove the TM then try for once to think beyond that and work WITH your collegues to come up with creative ways to handle the problem. But right now there is a whole lot of nothing going on by ALL members of the council.
Coming up with reasons why everything that goes wrong is the TM's fault and a reason he should be fired helps no one. Use that energy to actually think of ways to fix problems instead of attempt to assign blame.

Anonymous said...

AMEN!! Hit the nail on the head.

Anonymous said...

11:55 pm you sound like Tammany Hall reincarnated. Has machine politics invaded us here? At the local level who gives a _- - - what the caucus thinks. We need open dialog and we need openness. If no one speaks there is no open dialog. We also need better municipal management.